Air Fryer Chicken Legs

4.78 from 9 votes
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Air Fryer Chicken Legs – super juicy and tender chicken drumsticks cooked in just minutes in the air fryer. Full of flavor and a great easy dinner for any night of the week.

Air fryers are all the rage right now, everyone is searching for new recipes and sharing all the things they make in there. Which I get, once you make Air Fryer Chicken Wings it is hard to go back. They are just so crispy and fast without actually dousing them in oil!

air fryer chicken drumstick on a plate


The air fryer doesn’t actually fry food, so it isn’t going to be battered and deep fried like your traditional fried chicken or French fries. What is does, is cook the food using a convection oven. But it is so small, it is crazy powerful and fast compared to your normal convection oven.

So when you make these air fryer chicken legs, you will get the crispy skin on the outside and then a super tender and juicy inside. It cooks it very quickly and the circulation of air crisps the skin which helps lock in all the juice.

chicken leg ingredients

What You’ll Need To Make Chicken Legs In Air Fryer

  • Chicken Drumsticks
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Chili Powder

This combination works really well to serve with your favorite barbecue sauce but is flavorful enough it is delicious on its own.

coating chicken legs in seasoning

Can You Put Raw Chicken In The Air Fryer?

Yes, you 100% can. I am not sure where this idea came from, but I see the question all over the place. The air fryer is just a mini oven, so you can put raw meat in it without a problem. You just need to make sure the meat is cooked through before you eat it.

How To Cook Air Fryer Chicken Legs

  1. You want to make sure your chicken is dry so the it can get crispy in the air fryer. Use a paper towel to pat dry your chicken.
  2. While you prep the chicken preheat your air fryer to 400ºF.
  3. Add chicken legs to a large food storage bag or a bowl. Add the oil and all of the seasonings.
  4. Seal the bag and toss to coat until all the chicken is coated in the spice mixture.
  5. Arrange chicken legs in a single layer in your air fryer basket. And cook for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the basket and serve immediately.
cooked chicken drumsticks in air fryer

Tips For The Perfect Chicken Drumsticks

  • Start with dry chicken. The oil helps the spices stick and get the skin crispy. If the chicken is damp it won’t stick well and won’t get as crispy as it should. So don’t skip the step of using a paper towel to dry the chicken.
  • Do not stack chicken legs in the air fryer. Figure out how many fit ahead of time, and cook in batches if necessary. But you need them in a single layer so the air can circulate and they will cook evenly.
  • Cook the chicken to 165º F, that is how you know it is done. Every air fryer is a little different, so a total of 20 minutes in one air fryer might not be quite enough in a different brand.
  • Preheat your air fryer. There are a lot of recipes I skip this for, but with chicken legs, they are thick enough I think it makes a difference. It only takes 5 minutes to preheat, so while you measure the spices and get the chicken ready have your air fryer preheating.
  • Vary your spices. You can mix up the flavors of this recipe to make it many different ways! Use your favorite spice blend, mix in dried herbs, add lemon juice or garlic. Lots of different ways to make it different every time!
chicken drumsticks on a white plate

How Long Do Drumsticks Take In The Air Fryer?

Chicken drumsticks take 20 minutes at 400ºF in the air fryer. You want to flip them half way through cooking. They need to reach 165º F, so make sure the chicken is fully cooked before serving.

What To Serve With Chicken Legs

cooked chicken drumstick on a plate

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks is one of my go to recipes in the summer, but this air fryer version is ready in just 20 minutes and perfect when I don’t want to fire up the grill.

You can’t be chicken drumsticks in 20 minutes pretty much any way of cooking them, so this is a great dinner for any night of the week.

To make this recipe I used a Cosori 5.8 Qt Air Fryer. It is big enough that you can fit plenty of food in, and the basket comes out so you can easily shake, stir, or flip whatever you are making.

chicken legs close up for pinterest collage

More Air Fryer Recipes To Try

close up of chicken leg
4.78 from 9 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Legs

By Erin
Air Fryer Chicken Legs – super juicy and tender chicken drumsticks cooked in just minutes in the air fryer. Full of flavor and a great easy dinner for any night of the week.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder


  • Preheat air fryer to 400º F.
  • Pat chicken dry with a paper towel to make sure the coating sticks well.
  • In a large plastic food storage bag or a bowl toss together chicken legs with the oil and all of the spices until they everything is well coated.
  • Arrange chicken legs in a single layer in the base of the air fryer.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165º F.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 231mg | Sodium: 771mg | Fiber: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 403
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Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. I really love how juicy these are on the inside and that nice, crispy skin that they get on the outside because of the air fryer. Very good recipe!